Essay on Can Managers Influence Their Organisation's Culture?

2843 Words Dec 28th, 2010 12 Pages
Can managers influence the culture of their organisations? Discuss with reference to at least one example. It is only since the 1970s that the emphasis has shifted from a management-by-numbers to a more people-focused way of managing, in response to various problems that could not be overcome using the prior method (e.g. limitations to the Theory X way of managing, new production methods etc.). Pop-management theorists have since made direct links between an organisation’s culture and its performance, though this is not the entire story. As Kilmann et al (1985) put it: ‘a culture has a positive impact on an organisation when it points behaviour in the right direction... alternatively, a culture has a negative impact when it points …show more content…
A web-enabled platform was introduced, which was integrated with group-work, whereby the specially-trained ‘coach’ of the group could relay feedback and advice to participants. Bajer, the specialist who came in to aid the process, noted that after 100 days new behaviours and new ways of doing things had formed, with new language coming with this. Employee engagement, measured each year, was at an all-time high. The message that was taken from this was ‘it is possible to change the culture of an organisation... no matter how challenging it might seem at the start’ (Losada and Bajer, 2010). Similar success can be seen with NUMMI, a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota, outlined by John Shook (2010). What was seen here mainly affected the chronically under-performing Fremont plant of GM, but did have significant effects across the company. Previously there had been a culture upon which management had no control over. Quality had been known to be sabotaged and absenteeism often reached 20%; more than anything the culture was ‘anti-General Motors’. However, after the majority of workers were sent to Japan for training and then the adoption of not only Toyota’s stop-the-line production system1, as well as some of their key principles, a mutual trust was formed and the culture was reformed. Toyota’s ‘Respect for People’ tenet (Shook, 2010) summarised the vast change that had
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